Nutrition

The Health Benefits of Salmon

February 29, 2016
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Salmon is a delicious freshwater and saltwater fish that can be prepared in lots of different ways and even eaten raw in sushi and smoked salmon. You can also take salmon oil capsules. However, you consume it, moist and meaty salmon is very nutritious and has a lot health benefits to offer.

Protein

Like all fish and meat, salmon is high in protein. Protein is a vital nutrient that is often ignored in favor of cheaper carbohydrates. Protein is required for muscle growth and repair, recovery after exercise, and is also very filling. Protein also has a high thermic effect which means that eating it elevates your metabolism significantly which can lead to faster weight loss.

A four-ounce serving of salmon provides an average of 23 grams of protein which is easily comparable to beef and chicken. Recreational exercisers should consume approximately 0.75 grams of protein per 2.2 lbs. of bodyweight while those looking to gain muscle need closer to 2.0 grams per 2.2 lbs. of bodyweight.

Healthy fats

Fats are frequently considered to be unhealthy but, in reality, some fats are actually essential to your health. Of all the fats, omega three fats are arguably the healthiest and salmon contains these in significant quantities.

Omega three fats are polyunsaturated fats which are closely linked to improved cardiovascular health. Not only are they good for your heart and lungs, they are also considered to be good for your eyes, skin, hair, and brain. Omega three fats are also anti-inflammatory and can help reduce joint pain; good news if you suffer from arthritis.

Whether you eat salmon or take a salmon oil supplement, this marvelous fish is an excellent source of these very healthy fats.

Vitamins and minerals

Many people assume that vegetables and fruits are the only dietary sources of vitamins and minerals. This is not the case! Salmon contains a lot of useful vitamins and minerals. A 4-ounce salmon fillet will give you more than 50-percent of your daily requirement of vitamin B-12, over 40 percent of niacin, over 35 percent of vitamin B-6 and more than 15 percent of thiamin and pantothenic acid. Salmon is also rich in vitamin D which promotes healthy bones and teeth, and may help decrease your risk of developing multiple sclerosis and certain types of cancer.

The same-sized serving also contains roughly 50-percent of your recommended intake of selenium. Selenium may fight heart disease, cancer, age-related mental decline and thyroid disease. The same serving of salmon also delivers 20-percent of your daily intake of phosphorous which plays numerous roles in the body, from building strong bones and teeth to maintaining a healthy heart and kidneys.

Better sleep

One of the lesser known benefits of regular salmon consumption is that it can help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. Salmon is a good source of the hormone tryptophan which is a natural sedative. Eating salmon for your evening meal could result in a very restful night’s sleep. This is god news indeed as a large percentage of the population reports suffering from sleep problems which can have an adverse effect on productivity, concentration, energy and mood.

When preparing salmon, take care not to overcook it so it becomes dry. This can reduce some of its healthy characteristics. Try to seek out organic salmon and preferably wild rather than farmed as the nutrient profile for wild salmon is better.

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